Sea Salt Brings Out Food’s Flavours (and Passions)

When I first met the editors of EAT, they wanted to know the most recent recipe I had made and how it went. Honestly, I couldn’t remember. It had been ages since I cracked the spine of a cookbook, let alone follow a recipe from start to finish. I answered the question with a lame excuse about my new appreciation for stir-fries and promptly guided the conversation to another topic. 


That conversation stuck with me. Had I really stopped trying new recipes? After four years at the University of Victoria, my view of food had shifted from a passion to a curse. Not only had I stopped cooking on a regular basis, I had stopped reading cookbooks altogether.

But no more. I’m once again making time for cookbooks. Easing me back is Sea Salt: Recipes from the West Coast Galley, written by family trio Lorna Malone (mom), Alison Malone Eathorne and Hilary Malone (daughters). All residing on Vancouver Island with a shared love for sailing, Sea Salt delivers recipes perfect for any West Coast season.


The Authors of Sea Salt: Recipes from the West Coast Gallery

Alison Malone Eathorne

Lorna Malone


Hilary Malone

I selected three recipes for my Sea Salt meal: Smoked Black Cod and Cheddar Chowder, Salmon with Tamari Soba Noodles, and a Pear and Blackberry Galette.

I started with the galette, which required the pastry dough to set in the fridge before rolling out. Even with the prep time, having the galette baking in the oven in under an hour is completely doable. In the future, I’d spend more time searching out ripe pears. Unlike a traditional pie, where the filling softens, the galette’s open-face construction doesn’t trap as much steam. Even so, I’m keeping this recipe on standby for last-minute dessert cravings.

smoked cod chowder

smoked cod chowder. Photo: Sol Kauffman (also top lead photo)

Onto the soup, which admittedly might be a strange choice for the hot June weather. In my defense, I have vivid memories of summer road trips up and down the Oregon Coast, where my family would stop for lunch at diners or cafés, always ordering the house chowder.

Sea Salt’s chowder utilizes black smoked cod and smoked paprika to achieve the balance of salty and savory. The additions of clam juice (yes, this is a real thing) and aged cheddar deepen both flavours. For those not opposed to a little pork, I’d suggest adding bacon to this already stomach-hugging soup.

Lastly, I attempted grilled salmon and marinated soba noodles. Of course, the most straightforward recipe provided the most hiccups. First, tracking down soba noodles—a buckwheat noodle— proved difficult, so I substituted with my go-to stir-fry noodle. (See, I knew my “appreciation” for stir-fry would come in handy.) And as an apartment dweller, my access to a grill doesn’t exist. So I instead baked the fish at 400° F for just under 15 minutes.

In addition to the stunning food photography and shots of Vancouver Island’s best ocean coves, Sea Salt gives thanks to the growers and producers of local products. If you’re a lover of this beautiful island we call home, you’ll surely enjoy Sea Salt. [italics]


Website: Sea Salt cook book

Twitter: @seasaltcookbook

Instagram: @alison_seasalt


Smoked Black Cod and Cheddar 



2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter

¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped onion

¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped celery

¼ cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour

1 tsp (5 mL) smoked paprika

2 x 10 fl oz (284 mL) cans clam nectar

1 Tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste

¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped red (or orange) bell peppers

1½ cups (350 mL) whole milk

Salt and pepper

1 lb (454 gr) boneless/skinless smoked black cod, cut into 1-in (2.5-cm) pieces

¾ cup (180 mL) fresh or canned kernel corn

½ cup (125 mL) grated aged cheddar cheese

2 tsp (10 mL) minced chives

2 tsp (10 mL) minced flat-leaf parsley


Boil potatoes in a small saucepan of salted water until cooked but still firm, approximately 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour and paprika until thoroughly incorporated, then whisk in clam nectar and tomato paste. Bring broth to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer. Add bell peppers. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add milk and heat through.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add cod, corn and pre-cooked potatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes or until cod is just cooked through. Add cheese, chives and parsley and stir until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.


Grilled Salmon with Tamari Soba Noodles


salmon and soba noodles

salmon and soba noodles. Photo: Sol Kauffman


4 salmon filets, serving size

1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

8 oz (226 gr) soba noodles (Japanese-style buckwheat noodles)

1 Tbsp (15 mL) freshly grated ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp (2.5 mL) red pepper flakes

4 green onions, finely chopped, plus more (sliced on the bias) for garnish

Sesame seeds (optional)

Tamari Sauce

2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp (15 mL) lime juice

1 Tbsp (15 mL) tamari (or soy sauce)

1 Tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce

2 Tbsp (30 mL) white wine
Pinch of granulated sugar



Preheat barbecue to medium-high heat. Lightly brush salmon filets with canola oil. Cook filets until they just begin to flake when tested with a fork, approximately 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the barbecue. Remove the crisp skin from the filets (it can later be added to side of the plate for garnish).

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add soba noodles and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until tender. Drain and rinse in warm water, then leave in pot.

Gently stir in ginger, garlic, pepper flakes and finely chopped green onions. Combine tamari sauce ingredients. Mix well and pour over the noodles. Turn the heat on to low and stir to combine. Divide noodles among four plates. Top each serving with a salmon filet and garnish with additional green onions, salmon skin and sesame seeds, if using.

Written By:

Kaitlyn Rosenburg holds a BFA in creative writing with a minor in journalism and publishing from the University of Victoria. Her work has appeared in local publications such as The Martlet, as well as national publications like ...

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